Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) announced Senate passage of legislation (S.2859) he sponsors that will provide the Town of Smithtown with the ability to utilize state funding to construct a sewer system in downtown Kings Park. If passed by the Assembly and enacted into law, the legislation, which was requested by the Town through a unanimously adopted resolution, will allow for the alienation of parkland needed to operate a sewer pump.
The pumping station would be built on 4,000 square feet of land at the Town of Smithtown Department of Parks, Buildings and Grounds located at 100 Route 25A in Kings Park.
The legislation, which also passed the Senate in 2018, would enable the Town of Smithtown to utilize $20 million in State Funding that Senator Flanagan fought to have placed in the State Budget in 2017 for the Kings Park sewer system. That $20 million in state funding is part of $40 million he secured for sewers both in Kings Park and downtown Smithtown.
Each of these projects will allow local business districts to flourish, thereby creating jobs for residents and spurring economic development. The importance of the legislation’s passage was highlighted by a recent visit to Albany by area business representatives who articulated the need for acceleration of the sewer project.
Interest in the issue became more focused in recent days when it was reported that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been examining the cesspools of local businesses in Kings Park, threatening to fine some of them because of outdated waste facilities. According to the reports, the EPA has signaled its willingness to provide the businesses with extra time to comply if sewers in Kings Park are planned for the area in the near future. This makes the enactment of this legislation critical to these businesses as well as others in the area.
One stipulation of the legislation is that the alienation shall only take place after the Town of Smithtown acquires new parkland or dedicates funding towards capital improvements to existing parkland or recreational facilities.
“I am filled with gratitude as I watched the Senator advocate for the Smithtown alienation bill. This might seem like a small piece of legislation to some, but it’s everything for our community. In fact, this legislation paves the way to clean drinking water, added protections for our environment and comes at a turning point for our residents, who are all in support of the revitalization of our business districts,” stated Supervisor Edward R. Wehrheim.
“Sewers are an important component of any business district as well as the local environment, and it is imperative that the Kings Park businesses have access to these needed facilities. We have worked closely with the Town of Smithtown to move this project forward by securing needed funding and it is time we provide Supervisor Wehrheim with the ability to finally bring it to fruition for the betterment of the residents we jointly serve. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Assembly to make sure that this is the year that we enact this important legislation to spur job growth and better protect our environment,” stated Senator Flanagan.
The legislation is sponsored in the Assembly by Assemblymembers Michael Fitzpatrick (8th Assembly District) and Steven Englebright (4th Assembly District).